Last winter I went to a healthy living talk at Her Majesty's Pleasure, a salon and bar in Toronto. The talk was lead by Lisa of Life By Leese, and within moments of hearing her speak I was hooked. Lisa shared her own story of overcoming Lyme Disease, a condition that affected so many aspects of her life and her overall health. This lead her to study nutrition so that she could help others feel their best self and build healthy habits. What we love about Lisa is that she's truly an original and practices what she teaches. Her tips for a healthy life are approachable and easy to follow. She's not one for fads or unrealistic diets, but instead wants her clients to make their own blueprint for living well. Read her last article on EAF about gut health, and learn about five foods to eat to help you feel your best, below.
Lisa has released an ebook, which you read more about here!
Written by Lisa, of Life by Leese
Ultimately everything we choose to ingest is leaving a cellular imprint on our bodies. It's telling our organs what to do, how our cells should reproduce, and whether we like it or not, how our body is showing up in the external world.
Are you constantly suffering from breakouts? Is your hair dry and brittle? Are your joints achy and you're only thirty? Are your hormones all over the place? Happy one day, sad the next? Do you just overall lack the radiance that you so desire?
Not to worry! That's exactly why I'm here. I want to show you how you can use food to not only heal your body, but to glow from the inside out. Every one of these foods below, will take your internal workings, and produce a worldly glow, especially if you start incorporating them on a daily basis.
Which I do! These are foods I love, crave and eat everyday. They all seem quite simple, but let me tell you, they are extremely powerful, and have the power to change your life.
These beautiful fruits are the first things I have every single morning. They help cleanse and detoxify the entire body. Although lemons have an acidic taste they actually have a very strong alkaline reaction on the body and can help to alkalize blood, cells, lymph, organs, and tissues. Want more of a glow to your skin? Consume these little guys on a daily basis.
I have one a day, every single day in my morning water. I just plop it into a mason jar and refill the jar three to four times a day, so you get the full benefit of the lemon. I don't like to waste precious fruits after just one use (aka squeeze).
LBL HEALTH TIP - If you happen to go out and drink a little too much one night, come home and have lemon water before bed, and again upon wakening. It will help your body metabolize the alcohol in your system, most notably your liver.
One of my favorites, although it’s hard to play favorites, as I love all of these equally. Cucumbers are a highly alkalinizing and hydrating food that are rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K, magnesium, silicon, and potassium. They have wonderful anti-inflammatory benefits, which can significantly benefit autoimmune and neurological disorders. Their high silica content promotes strong and healthy hair and nails which has earned them the reputation for centuries as being a “beautifying” food. Fresh cucumber juice has the ability to cleanse and detox the entire body, just like celery. Both of these heavy hitters appear too watery or nutrition-less to many, but honestly they are some of the best foods you can eat! Don’t be fooled by their watery nature. it’s also an ideal way to properly hydrate the body since it is contains beneficial electrolytes that have the ability to bring nutrients and hydration deep into the cells and tissues making it far more effective than water alone!
LBL HEALTH TIP – Cut up a couple of slices and add it to your water, with lemon! This helps if you have trouble just sipping plain water. It adds another element to your water to make it easier to drink, while adding in super beneficial minerals and vitamins.
LBL BEAUTY TIP - Take a bath, slice them up, and put them on your eyes! It's not a myth. They contain caffeic acid, which help decrease bags and puffiness.
Romaine lettuce nutrition is actually quite impressive due to its high level of antioxidants and other crucial vitamins and minerals including folate, manganese, and more. Thanks to its durable nature and sturdy “crunch,” romaine lettuce adds not only nutrients to your salads, sandwiches, or other recipes, but also variety in terms of texture and flavor. It’s one of the best-loved lettuces for having a mild, non-bitter taste that deters some people from consuming leafy greens regularly. Because of its great taste, ease of use, versatility in recipes, and high nutrient profile, there’s no reason not to include romaine lettuce in your diet regularly.
I eat a salad with romaine lettuce every single day. I love the crunch, mild taste and texture. I love that it appears to be devoid of nutrients due to it’s mild flavor, but is full of so many healing enzymes, minerals and vitamins it makes every bite that much sweeter.
LBL HEALTH TIP - We’re lead to believe that protein is only available from meat, and the odd plant based legume and nut. But romaine as lots of protein in it! Therefore it makes a great green for athletes and active individuals.
I don't want to play favorites again, but avocados are simply the best. I love them like a BFF, and my life wouldn't be the same without them. Bold statement, but it's the truth.
This is one of the world’s most healing foods. It is easily digested and contains over 25 essential nutrients including iron, copper, magnesium, and essential fatty acids that help the body to function optimally. Avocados increase the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients, so they are a wonderful addition to green leafy salads to ensure proper absorption of all the vitamins and minerals.
They are also an excellent source of glutathione, which helps to boost the immune system, strengthen the heart, rebuild the nervous system, and slow the aging process. The monounsaturated fats in avocados reverse insulin resistance, which helps to steady blood sugar levels.
It pretty much aids the body in any, and all processes. It’s a food that should be consumed daily. I add it to smoothies, eat them on their own as a snack, massage them into kale, add it to salads + green wraps. Its uses are endless and bountiful.
LBL HEALTH TIP - It's also amazing as a skin mask or hair mask. We can’t forget that mother nature intended us to use food in its entirety. Food is miraculous, and just as it help us internally, it’s just as healing externally. I love making a DIY skin and mask for my hair, while I marinate in lavender and epsom salts in my bath.
Just thinking about biting into a juicy, red pepper makes my mouth water. I eat them in everything - salads, roasted, stir fried, as dippers for hummus + guacamole, and most often than not I eat them just as they are, like a apple! It's actually my favorite way to eat them. I snack on them almost everyday, and walk down the street biting into them, and people look at me like I'm crazy. But I love it.
The humble pepper gets a bad rap as it's classified as a nightshade, which I don't believe is warranted. I could go on and on about this, but I don’t believe you should fear tomatoes, red peppers, potatoes, eggplants, and the like. There is a chance you may be sensitive to them, just like you could be sensitive to avocados or nuts, it's not the fact that they are nightshades. They, along with all plants and fruits, contain so many anti-inflammatory properties, unique minerals, enzymes and healing pre and probiotics. Just as we shouldn't fear fruit, we shouldn't fear nightshades.
(*This is an opinion based on research, and my own experience with healing the body from Lyme Disease and intense inflammation in the body*)
So how does the red pepper measure up in terms of its nutrient density and profile. Well, first of all people might be surprised, but it’s an excellent source of vitamin C at 117 milligrams per cup. (That's more than twice the amount of vitamin C found in a typical orange!). Being high in vitamin A, red bell peppers helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. They’re also a rich source of a carotenoid called lutein, that helps in lowering the risk of macular degeneration of the eyes. Bell peppers also protect your eyes from cataracts due to their high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C. So when it comes to your skin, Vitamin C is and should be one of your best friends.
Yes, Vitamin C is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system, but it builds very strong collagen, which is vital for supporting skin and joints. Collagen is a protein in our body which essentially gives our skin the structure (think of it like fish netting!) it needs to stay firm, strong and retain its glow. As we age, collagen greatly diminishes in our skin each year, and more notably every ten years. The decrease of collagen is what causes the basis of ‘aging’ in our skin and body. With the skin, it will start to wrinkle and sag without collagen, and in our body, our joints stiffen, and we’re less mobile and limber.
Therefore it’s essential to make sure we’re consuming ample amounts of collagen. Which make the red pepper an excellent food to start consuming on a regular basis.
I hope this inspires you to incorporate more of these foods into your daily life! If you don’t already eat these foods on a regular basis, how about adding a new one each week, and slowly incorporate a handful of them every week? The focus is on adding these foods into your life, not eliminating the bad stuff.
Perfection doesn't exist.
But once you start reaping the benefits of eating these beauties, on the daily, you will see shifts in your taste buds, habits, skin, body and overall cravings. You will then be motivated to add more, and more without even realizing it, because you feel so darn good.
Happy getting your ‘Glow On’!